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  IN THIS Article
 ::  Abstract
 ::  Introduction
 ::  Material and method
 ::  Results
 ::  Discussion
 ::  References

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Year : 1990  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 140-2

Serum sialic acid levels in healthy individuals.

Department of Surgery, Govt. Medical College, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir.

Correspondence Address:
Department of Surgery, Govt. Medical College, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir.

  ::  Abstract

Serum sialic acid values, estimated by thiobarbituric acid method of Warren as modified by Saifer and Gerstenfeld in 50 normal healthy persons of both sexes are reported. The average values were 68.47 +/- 4.85 mg% and 67.77 +/- 7.87 mg% for males and females respectively and for both sexes the value was 68.12 +/- 6.70 mg%. Age and sex have no influence on sialic acid levels in serum.

How to cite this article:
Hangloo V K, Kaul I, Zargar H U. Serum sialic acid levels in healthy individuals. J Postgrad Med 1990;36:140

How to cite this URL:
Hangloo V K, Kaul I, Zargar H U. Serum sialic acid levels in healthy individuals. J Postgrad Med [serial online] 1990 [cited 2023 Sep 24];36:140. Available from:

  ::   Introduction Top

Serum sialic acid is a protein-bound carbohydrate considered to be a mono-saccharide and occurs in combination with other mono- saccharides like galactose, mannose, glucosamine, galactosamine and fucose. Sialic acid is the group name for the acetylated neuraminic acids, such as N-acetyl neuraminic acid, N-glycolyl neuraminic acid and Di-acetyl neuraminic acid. Only N-acetyl neuraminic acid has been isolated from human serum. There is lot of confusion in the nomenclature used to classify protein bound carbohydrates. Winzler [12] described sialic acid under plasma glycoproteins, while Miettinen[7] grouped them under mucoproteins. It has been reported that human serum contains almost no free sialic acid and 90% of this serum sialic acid is bound to alpha and beta globulins[2],[4].
In the last few years, different workers all over the world have demonstrated that concentration of sialic acid in the human serum is abnormally high in a number of pathological states where the underlying pathology is either of tissue destruction, tissue proliferation, depolymerization or inflammation.
Serum sialic acid levels may find some diagnostic application. It was therefore considered necessary to establish normal values for healthy individuals. As the figures for serum sialic acid reported from other countries show a surprisingly wide scatter, viz. 67.6 ? 5.6 mg%;[2] 58 ? 8 mg%;[1] 58 ? 1.3 mg%;[6] and 67.7 ? 6.1 mg% [8] and these may not be applicable for Indian population in general, our aim was to establish its normal range for local population groups. There are very few reports on its estimation from our country[9]. In the present study, serum sialic acid was estimated by thiobarbituric acid method of Warren [11] as modified by Saifer and Gerstenfeld[8].

  ::   Material and method Top

Fifty healthy individuals (25 male and 25 female) in the age group between 18 and 40 years free from disease were the subjects for this study. Serum sialic acid was estimated by thiobarbituric acid method of Warren[11] as modified by Saifer and Gerstenfeld[8]. Pure sialic acid (Sigma, USA) was used for preparing standard solution. Optical density was read at 550 mu in B and L spectronic 20 calorimeter.

  ::   Results Top

[Table - 1] shows the serum sialic acid levels in males and females. There is no significant difference as far as sex is concerned.
[Table - 2] indicates that no significant difference is observed in different age groups for serum sialic acid levels.

  ::   Discussion Top

The mean value of serum sialic acid for males was 68.47 plus-minus 4.85 mg%, for females was 67.77 plus-minus 7.87 mg% and for both 68.12 plus-minus 6.70 mg%. Further no significant difference in the serum sialic acid values of males and females was observed (p > .05) and there was no significant variation in values in the various age groups. Singh and Ramraju[9] also reported that age and sex have no influence on the sialic acid levels in the serum. The values observed are almost identical to those observed by Saifer and Gerstenfeld (66.7 plus-minus 6.1 mg%); Dutt et al[3] (67 mg%); and Carter and Martin[2] (67 plus-minus 5.6 mg%). The normal value of 68.12 ? 6.70 mg% obtained in the present study is lower than that reported by Gupta et al[5] (76.1 plus-minus 1.3 mg%) for males and hi her than that reported by Mcbeth and Bekes[6] (58 plus-minus 1.3 mg%). This could probably be due to different method used for estimation e.g. Gupta et al Winzler's Method[12] and Svennerholm method[10] by Mcbeth and Bekesi.

  ::   References Top

1. BÖttiger LE, Sterky G. Serum proteins and glucoproteins in normal school-children. Acta Med Scand 1962; 172:339-342.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Carter A, Martin NH. Serum sialic acid in health and disease. J Clin Pathol 1962; 15:69-72.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Dutt M, Chatterjee AK, Khanade JM, Rajan SR. Serum glycoproteins in patients of ischaemic heart diseases and normal controls. Ind J Med Res 1975; 63:282-285.  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.Gottschalk A. The chemistry and biology of sialic acids and related substances. Quoted by Carter and Martin[2]. Cambridge: University Press; 1960.  Back to cited text no. 4    
5.Gupta AK, Sur BK, Taneja DK. Serum sialic acid in different bone disorders. J Ind Med Assoc 1973; 60:87-89.  Back to cited text no. 5    
6.Mcbeth RAL, Bekesi JG. Plasma glycoproteins in various disease states including carcinoma. Cancer Res 1962; 22:1170-1176.  Back to cited text no. 6    
7.Miettinen T. Hexosamine and sialic acid in the plasma and urine of the rat. Effects of partial hepatectomy, ligation of the bile duct and experimental nephrosis. Scand J Clin Lab Invest 1961; (Suppl 61)18:1-101.  Back to cited text no. 7    
8.Saifer A, Gerstenfeld S. Photometric determination of sialic acids in serum and cerebrospinal fluid with the thiobarbituric acid method. Clin Chim Acta 1962; 7:467-475.  Back to cited text no. 8    
9.Singh R, Ramraju B. Serum sialic acid values in healthy Indian adults. Ind J Med Res 1967; 55:267269.  Back to cited text no. 9    
10.Svennerholm E, Svenneholm L. Quantitative paper partition chromatography of sialic acids. Nature 1958; 181:1154-1155.  Back to cited text no. 10    
11.Warren L. The thiobarbituric acid assay of sialic acids. J Biol Chem 1959; 234:1971-1975.  Back to cited text no. 11    
12.Winzier RJ. In: "Method of Biochemical Analysis." II. New York: Interscience Publisher; 1958, pp 279.   Back to cited text no. 12    

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